Note to the teacher: Before preparing this lesson, Abraham Bible Study - Genesis 12 please read our approach to planning a Sunday School lesson.
This lesson has the same format as our lesson planning sheet.
In preparing your lesson, we suggest that you:
1. Print the planning sheet.
2. Read the Bible passage.
3. Fill in your lesson planning sheet.
You will find it helpful to have a printed copy of the lesson planning sheet along side as you read the lesson. The progression will make more sense.
Abraham Bible Study
Bible Passage: Genesis 12
The human need this passage meets is: to understand and desire to obey the call of God.
Learning Goals: by the end of this session, each learner should be able to...
(Know) That God had a call for Abram and also us.
(Feel) Feel the need to hear God's call.
(Do) Express a willingness to God to travel and trust in response to His call.
It seems that today we are more connected electronically with people than ever before. Where it used to take months for a letter to cross the ocean, now we can correspond and talk to people across the world in seconds. Because of this, we are even more upset when we do not receive messages or calls immediately.
One time when I was out of the country, I missed a call from an airline company. I never received the call - I don't know why my phone didn't store the message. I never knew they even called. I found out a couple of months later, when I learned that the flight I booked had been rescheduled - for the DAY BEFORE the original flight! Needless to say, I was upset!
Tell your neighbor about a time when you didn't receive an important call. How do you feel when someone is trying to tell you something and you can't get the message?
God calls people, too. Not on a cell phone, but He has effective ways of getting his message through.
Genesis 12 reveals God's plan to call one man to be the father of a new nation and use that man and his descendants to redeem the world he created.
God called a man named Abram (later changed to Abraham).
The reason this Abraham Bible Study is relevant to us today is that in Galatians, the apostle Paul says,
Galatians 3:7 - Understand then that those who believe are children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:9 - Those who have faith in Christ are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Galatians 3:14 - He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:26 - You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.
In other words, the same God who called Abraham, blessed Abraham, and used Abraham - is the very same God that wants to call us, bless us, and use us.
If you come to God as a spiritual descendent of Abraham, based on your relationship with Jesus - God will bless you and use you.
God called Abraham and today, God is calling you.
Let's discover two aspects about God's call that were true for Abraham and are true for you.
Lesson #1 from the Abraham Bible Study
1. God's Call is a Call to Travel.
Let's read: Genesis 12:1.
The Lord had said to Abram "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
Why does verse one say "The Lord had said"?
The answer is that verse one repeats the original call. The first call came when he still lived in the city of Ur.
Acts 7:2 The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran. 'Leave your country and your people,' God said, 'and go to the land I will show you.
Genesis 11:31 Together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Apparently they stopped along the way, and needed to be reminded that the journey wasn't over. But eventually, they arrived.
If you are a spiritual descendant of Abram, then God has a call for your life...and that call includes travel. That call involves getting out of your comfort zone and taking a risk.
Abram couldn't respond to God's call without leaving his country, family, and security and going to a land about which he had no idea. (In effect, God said, "When we get there, I'll let you know." All Abram knew is that God's call meant saying good-bye.
Hearing God's voice and responding to God's call always involves travel.
When Jesus came from heaven to earth, it involved travel - to do God's will, he had to say good-bye to heaven.
When you think of traveling in response to God, do you think about going
Have you been on a short-term missions trip? If so, you know the excitement of planning and preparing, bonding with your team-mates, travelling to a new place, working with nationals, praying that God will multiply your efforts, taking pictures, and sharing your experiences on your return. It can impact the rest of your life!
A friend of ours went on such a short-term missions trip. It impacted his life so much that he wanted to start a small group of people who had also been on like trips. While there is nothing wrong with this idea, I asked him where he worked on a daily basis. He told me the name of a local company. I asked him if he ever considered that God might be sending him to that company as a witness for God. It was a new thought for him, but he agreed to think about it.
By travel we don't mean going on an airplane. We mean - is God sending you
If you don't see yourself going someplace for Him this week, are you really even listening?
His call is to leave and go.
God's call to Abram and to you is to travel.
Lesson 2 from Abraham Bible Study
2. God's Call is a Call to Trust
Let's read Genesis 12:10-20
Abram was a believer, but a young believer.
His obedience was sincere, but he had much to learn about depending upon God.
His experience in Egypt illustrated Abram's tendency to have a back-up plan, just in case he got into a predicament where things got a little tough.
Genesis 12:11 - I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' They will kill me but let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.
It appears that this lie was putting God's whole plan at risk because Pharaoh added Sarai to his harem.
Therefore God intervened by inflicting Pharaoh with some serious diseases. Pharoah learned the truth, confronted Abram, and had Abram deported.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
That was Abram's problem.
What is the lesson in this Abraham Bible study and for us?
The flesh is what comes naturally. Our flesh is all of our natural instinct and common sense apart from God. It always possesses an independent approach to life. When we forget or ignore God's ways, this natural approach always makes more sense.
Jesus taught that to make progress in following Him, every believer must come to terms with his life and his self - in short, his self-life.
God miraculously reduces the power of the self-life when we surrender our will and put everything into the Lord's hands... In his book, Christ in You, A.B. Simpson writes,
It is said that Alexander the Great had a famous horse that nobody could ride. Alexander spent much time trying to break it. In the course of his efforts, he saw that the horse was afraid of his own shadow. Leaping into the saddle one day and turning the horse's head to the sun, he struck his spurs into the flanks of the noble steed and dashed off like lightning. From that moment on, the fiery charger was thoroughly subdued and it never gave its master any trouble again. It could no longer see its own shadow.
The way to deal with the self-life is to focus on Jesus. In doing so, we will no longer see the shadow of self...Though our self-life will never be eliminated, it doesn't have to control us.
What's Missing Inside You by Paul Schlieker p. 97-98
As followers of Jesus, we are learning to hear God's call - then to follow where He leads and trust Him along the way.
Discussion Questions for this Abraham Bible Study:
1. Why does hearing God's call have the power to turn our lives inside out? During this Abraham Bible study, what ways did you hear God calling you to travel for him?
2. What is threatening about leaving the familiar to travel in response to God's call? What would make it less threatening and more motivating?
3. How do followers of Jesus today lean on their own understanding when dealing with the problems and pressures of life?
4. How does trusting God change your view of God? your view of yourself?
5. Discuss - Whatever you are not praying about you are doing yourself. How does this fit with this Abraham Bible study?
Author of Abraham Bible Study: Paul Schlieker
For any reuse or distribution of Abraham Bible Study or any of our free Bible study materials author credit and web address is required.
Please email us with questions or comments.
If you benefitted from this Abraham Bible study - take a look at our other resources -
Kingdom Discipleship - learn to travel and trust God within your sphere of influence
Esther Bible Study - A newsletter about God's Guidance
Live Your Mission - A audio sermon about joining God's mission